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Chequers checks off €850m in three months

Chequers Capital has hit its €850m hard cap after only three months in the market as private equity fundraising increasingly becomes a two-speed race.

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Chequers Capital, the Parisian Charterhouse spin-out, has hit its €850m hard cap after only three months in the market as private equity fundraising increasingly becomes a two-speed race. 

According to a source, Chequers Capital XVI Fund, launched last March, beat its €800m target by €50m after only three months. 

The news follows a successful run for fellow French private equity firm Argos Soditic, which launched its Euroknights VI in May last year and closed in January above target on €400m, surpassing its €360m target. 

While some firms are raising with ease, others are finding it altogether more difficult to convince a more discerning investor pool. Apax France, for example, is still trying to reach a final close after launching back in 2008.

The average time spent on the fundraising trail has risen over the last two years to nearly 17 months for mid-market houses and over 21 months for mega funds, according to Preqin data. That compares with 10.6 months and 12.4 months respectively over the longer term.

Chequers' last fund reached €600m in 2006. The firm typically writes equity cheques of between €10m and €100m for €30m to €200m deals.